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An Iowan Holds the World Record for the Longest Beard Ever

Iowans have accomplished some pretty amazing things, but I didn’t realize that the world’s longest beard is one of those things!

I came across a new article from Zippia this morning titled “What Each State Has That’s Bigger Than Any Other.” Basically, the study shows the strangest record in all 50 states. For example, someone in Wisconsin holds that record for the most Big Macs eaten, Washington has the most expensive hot dog, and Georgia is home to the largest whoopee cushion. You can check out more results from all 50 states HERE.

Looking through this study, I discovered that an Iowan holds the record for the longest beard ever recorded. I obviously had to know more.

According to the Guinness World Records website, Hans Langseth of Kensett, Iowa set the record before he passed away in 1927. The page reads:

“The beard of Hans N. Langseth (Norway, b. 1846) measured 5.33 m (17 ft 6 in) at the time of his burial at Kensett, Iowa in 1927 after 15 years residence in the United States. It was presented to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA, in 1967.”

An article from Smithsonian Magazine says that Hans began growing his beard when he was just 19-years-old for a beard-growing competition, and he just continued growing it for the rest of his life. The article reports:

“Though beard hair can only grow about four or five feet before dying off, Langseth matted the dead hair together in a coil, like that of today’s dreadlocks, to further lengthen and strengthen his beard.”

Hans’ beard was so long that he apparently used to roll his beard around a corncob and tuck it into a pouch or pocket to keep it out of the way. He even joined a traveling sideshow at one point, but later quit because he didn’t like it when people pulled on it when they didn’t believe it was real. After Hans died, his beard was donated to the Smithsonian, where it was on display to the public from 1967 to 1991. It now resides in storage. If you’d like to see a very impressive photo of the beard, you can check out the article from Smithsonian Magazine HERE.

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